User Score
7.0

Generally favorable reviews- based on 201 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Negative: 29 out of 201
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  1. ChrisC
    Aug 20, 2008
    5
    The first hour is solid while the last hour is absolutely dreadful. The relationships start out somewhat believable but quickly turn to B-movie crap.
  2. TaylorL.
    Feb 1, 2009
    0
    This movie sucked. I can not believe i spent money to rent this movie. It has no point. 4 people started unhappy, 4 people ended unhappy.
  3. LinL.
    Mar 23, 2009
    2
    With Blockbuster rentals up to $4.99, I regretted the money and time spent on this movie, memorable only for for the spicy little Spanish tune at the beginning and end. I'm as hungry as the next person for the next Woody Allen film. But these characters were flat, slighty annoying and utterly uninteresting.
  4. helenj
    May 24, 2010
    1
    I think critics were dazzled by Woody Allen's name on the credits. It was predictable, shallow and boring. Barcelona is not yellow either! Really disappointing.
  5. MurrayR.
    Jun 17, 2010
    2
    I'm not a fan of classical guitar.It's boring. There's scene where the sensitive "artists" of Barcelona are gathered together sipping wine and listening intently to mindless strumming. And that to me sums up this movie.There are no revelations ,no insights nothing is learned.And nothing is funny.
  6. FrancescoR.
    Feb 23, 2009
    0
    Stereotypes. Boredom. Stereotypes. Also, some of the fakest dialogues ever seen on the big screen. More stereotypes. More boredom. Everything is 100% predictable in the storyline. The portrait of Spain is nothing but a shadeless and blurry sketch packed full of stereotypes. Yeah, stereotypes. Lots of.
  7. DavidC.
    May 29, 2009
    1
    The voiceover narration and dialogue are so painfully stupid, I actually could not watch more than a half hour of the film. Horrible, simply horrible.
  8. RickK
    Aug 14, 2009
    0
    What is it with all the 9's & 10's??? C'mon people! If this had been written & directed by someone OTHER than Woody Allen, you'd see it for what it really is - a horrible, horrible film.
  9. DonaldS.
    May 28, 2009
    0
    Pointless and boring. Woody Allen should hang it up. His creative talent is gone, and he should be, too.
  10. NeilB
    Apr 6, 2010
    0
    Utter rubbish-don't waste your time.
  11. KelleyM.
    Aug 21, 2008
    3
    What was the intent of the banal narration? Was it supposed to be amusing? Well, it was pretty irritating, as was the incredible stereotypes that pass as characters. Some redeeming scenes every now and then involving either Rebecca Hall or Penelope Cruz. Scarlett Johansson was boring and physically too bleached out. Bardim's quiet truthfulness was appealing but overall it was hard to What was the intent of the banal narration? Was it supposed to be amusing? Well, it was pretty irritating, as was the incredible stereotypes that pass as characters. Some redeeming scenes every now and then involving either Rebecca Hall or Penelope Cruz. Scarlett Johansson was boring and physically too bleached out. Bardim's quiet truthfulness was appealing but overall it was hard to see why he would be such a heart breaker. Finally, every American man who shows up in this picture is a total tool or twerp. Expand
  12. essbeekay
    Aug 23, 2008
    0
    I think this is more male fantasy stuff that Allen's been churning out for years at first making us believe that beautiful hapless waifs could fall for his neurotic bullshit (Mia Farrow, Diane Keaton) and now 3 women at a time! Really. Every time I thought he had something different to say, I regretted it seeing such colossal bores as Match Point and some painfully idiotic movie with I think this is more male fantasy stuff that Allen's been churning out for years at first making us believe that beautiful hapless waifs could fall for his neurotic bullshit (Mia Farrow, Diane Keaton) and now 3 women at a time! Really. Every time I thought he had something different to say, I regretted it seeing such colossal bores as Match Point and some painfully idiotic movie with Meg Ryan and Jason Biggs. Sorry San Francisco Chronicle this time I don't agree. Expand
  13. JanetteH
    Jan 6, 2009
    0
    Rubbish. It was the falsest movie I have ever seen. The dialogue was almost as if they were making it up. There was no passion between the main actors. I wanted to just Slap Scarlett Silly, she's beautiful to look at, she can't act, Hello. If Woody Allen Got to spend all that money to make a money not even vaguely entertaining, then there is something very wrong with our culture.
  14. RH.
    Aug 16, 2008
    3
    As they say in writing, show it, dont tell it. The narrator is very distracting. The character, even if there is barely a story to tell, are funny and interesting. The ending feels like Mr. Allen just ran out of anything to say.
  15. CarlS.
    Aug 31, 2008
    4
    A movie about PASSION; yet apart from Penelope Cruz this film is devoid of it - everyone is sleepwalking. Woody Allen is too neurotic to embrace feelings as free-spirited as passion, so him making a film about it is like a fish discussing life outside the bowl.
  16. CorinneM.
    Sep 8, 2008
    3
    I would have given it a zero if not for Javier Bardem and Penelope Cruz - I'm sick of Woody Allen getting good reviews on bad movies because he's Woody Allen. This would never have been made and certainly not with these stars if not for his name. Like so many other of his recent movies.
  17. Feb 3, 2013
    10
    this movie should be watch as (Annie Hall 2), Allen ended the earlier by describing relationships "They’re totally irrational and crazy and absurd", and after many years he completed his idea and made it crystal clear, and now I can see the whole artistic work of Woody Allen as a masterpiece.
  18. Benno
    Apr 15, 2010
    1
    Short version: The Hollywood equivalent of a Gypsy Girl painting. Longer version: Arguably the century's most pretentious wank, the most badly made disaster ever. A toxic, petit-bourgeois piece of pestilence of a film. Painfully self-conscious kitsch story wrapped around egregious dialogue hiding a pretentious old man fantasy. Badly acted rubbish for pseudo-intellectual losers, Short version: The Hollywood equivalent of a Gypsy Girl painting. Longer version: Arguably the century's most pretentious wank, the most badly made disaster ever. A toxic, petit-bourgeois piece of pestilence of a film. Painfully self-conscious kitsch story wrapped around egregious dialogue hiding a pretentious old man fantasy. Badly acted rubbish for pseudo-intellectual losers, lacquered sentimentally over by a pseudo-liberated morality tale that performs - to make it worse- a criminal act of despicably shallow Euro-Orientalistic violence against the idea of Spain and the reality of love. May the gods of art and love have mercy on Woody Allens twisted, pathetic soul. Expand
  19. larrys.
    Apr 16, 2009
    3
    Way overrated. Except for Cruz the acting was uninspired. Javier was miscast and Johansson was amateurish. Writing as not up to Woody's standard. Don't waste your money!
  20. Jan 23, 2012
    1
    It's almost impossible to find anything at all to like about Vicky Cristina Barcelona. Woody Allen's direction is lazy and heavy-handed, and his dialogue is completely lifeless. All the characters featured in the film are thoroughly unlikeable and impossible to relate to on any level, and every actor involved, while turning in completely competent performances, just look bored with whatIt's almost impossible to find anything at all to like about Vicky Cristina Barcelona. Woody Allen's direction is lazy and heavy-handed, and his dialogue is completely lifeless. All the characters featured in the film are thoroughly unlikeable and impossible to relate to on any level, and every actor involved, while turning in completely competent performances, just look bored with what they are being asked to do. Instead of using a narrator as a device to drive the plot, and make some amusing comments about the events we are witnessing as he did in Annie Hall, Allen this time uses it to state the bleeding obvious, and therefore makes it completely unnecessary. The very worst of the film's numerous crimes, however, is the message about love it attempts to communicate, which is insulting to men, women and everyone's intelligence. Basically, Allen would have us believe that all women are either easy (like Scarlett Johansson's Cristina) or prude (like Rebecca Hall's Vicky) but both types of women can be seduced by a pretty disgusting misogynist so long as he's got nice eyes and a sexy accent (which describes Javier Bardem's Juan Antonio perfectly). The only smiles raised for the entire film are embarrassed ones, and you feel slightly emotionally drained by the film's conclusion, not because you've had an involving viewing experience, but because you've struggled for 95 minutes to find something to keep you watching. Still, the Spanish guitar music is nice, and Penelope Cruz makes a good crazy person. Expand
  21. Feb 8, 2012
    8
    Vicky Cristina Barcelona is one of the strangest movies of Woody Allen, because it is extremely artistic, also the point of view towards art is unique and not influenced by the consumerist society. So if art is out of influence, human relations work in the same way, that is why the affairs between two, three and even four people are normal and accepted.
    Another remarkable thing is that the
    Vicky Cristina Barcelona is one of the strangest movies of Woody Allen, because it is extremely artistic, also the point of view towards art is unique and not influenced by the consumerist society. So if art is out of influence, human relations work in the same way, that is why the affairs between two, three and even four people are normal and accepted.
    Another remarkable thing is that the character of Woody Allen, who is well expressed in Annie Hall and Zelig, jumps from person to person; the first in line is Cristina, because she is looking for true love knowing what she does not want and settling for nothing; second we have Juan Antonio, who is trying to defend his concept of art and balancing it with his relationships; third it is Vicky who is doubting about her marriage and husband; then we see Maria Elena, she wants to get back what she had, no matter what she must do; finally it is Judy, who tries to fulfill her dreams using other people.
    This film has amazing performances, but the one of Penelope Cruz is the most outstanding, the academy award for best supporting actress is definitely well deserved. Also the script is one of the bests from this director. All this is surrounded by peculiar music and the beautiful environment of Spain.
    Expand
  22. AlaD.
    Apr 23, 2009
    9
    Great, clear, funny.
  23. Maurice
    Aug 14, 2008
    10
    One of Woody's best!
  24. VanceD.
    Aug 18, 2008
    8
    One of Woody's best in years. The hopefulness of Hannah and her Sisters meets the cynicism of Husbands and Wives.
  25. MikeR.
    Aug 21, 2008
    9
    Woody Allen can still create a film that weaves between comedy and drama and give the viewer something to retain when the lights go on
  26. Casper
    Aug 20, 2008
    9
    Perhaps it's only flaw (and the same that beset Cassandra's Dream) is that lately Allen has a tendency to send all of his thoughts out to character's incapable of truly expressing them. In other words, on occasion, they're simply offshoot personalities of Allen's own worldview & set of expressions, resulting in dialogue that seems a little too intellectual or Perhaps it's only flaw (and the same that beset Cassandra's Dream) is that lately Allen has a tendency to send all of his thoughts out to character's incapable of truly expressing them. In other words, on occasion, they're simply offshoot personalities of Allen's own worldview & set of expressions, resulting in dialogue that seems a little too intellectual or esteemed for some of the personalities involved. Now, Cassandra's Dream didn't suffer from highbrow dialogue but rather that it had working class stiffs using Allen's own ideas in less educated language. Don't get me wrong, when he reigns it in as he did in his earlier work or features believable upper-class representatives, then I can totally buy it. Here there's a few times, usually involving the straight-edged grad student where I feel the characters would be over-reaching in order to utilize such lofty language. Other than that, it's probably his strongest overall work since Husbands & Wives. There's great cinematography, a well-balanced story (NEVER one of Allen's shortcomings) and fabulous acting all around. Go check it out and try and ignore the forced lines in the first half hour. Collapse
  27. SteveM.
    Aug 24, 2008
    10
    This movie was throughly engaging from the first moment to the last. He writes a diverse cast of characters with such virtuosity. The cast is spot on perfection. And though I was looking forward to seeing it from the bouncy title and great cast, I was not prepared for what I saw and how deeply it reverberated. The melancholy story is punctuated by lots of laughs. If you have ever liked a This movie was throughly engaging from the first moment to the last. He writes a diverse cast of characters with such virtuosity. The cast is spot on perfection. And though I was looking forward to seeing it from the bouncy title and great cast, I was not prepared for what I saw and how deeply it reverberated. The melancholy story is punctuated by lots of laughs. If you have ever liked a Woody Allen film...GO! Expand
  28. BillyS.
    Sep 18, 2008
    10
    In my 40 years of movie going there's been two constants that are a dependable annual reason to remind me why I love the movies - The Oscars and a film by Woody Allen. Sometimes I'm not happy with the Oscars, I've never been unhappy with Woody. He's made a few classics and many great films and the rest are just very good. Vicki Cristina Barcelona is a great film and In my 40 years of movie going there's been two constants that are a dependable annual reason to remind me why I love the movies - The Oscars and a film by Woody Allen. Sometimes I'm not happy with the Oscars, I've never been unhappy with Woody. He's made a few classics and many great films and the rest are just very good. Vicki Cristina Barcelona is a great film and Spain is the perfect location in which Woody makes a city another character in his film the same way he canonized NYC for all those years. Looks like this will be another year when Woody and the Oscars will be together again!! Expand
  29. EnriqueP.
    Jan 12, 2009
    8
    Overall it is a great movie! Woody Allen does a very good job in this romantic and extraordinary movie taking place in the beautifulcity of Barcelona. Penelope Cruz does a great job and truely needs to have an Oscar nomination. The story is great and very well handed. It is fun and good to watch! Now, Scarlett Johansson's character is so boring actually! For being Allen's Overall it is a great movie! Woody Allen does a very good job in this romantic and extraordinary movie taking place in the beautifulcity of Barcelona. Penelope Cruz does a great job and truely needs to have an Oscar nomination. The story is great and very well handed. It is fun and good to watch! Now, Scarlett Johansson's character is so boring actually! For being Allen's favourite, he really puts her in the second place. She does not shine in any part of the filma nd that's sad. The beginning is not as strong as well as the end. The middle point is awsome! You must watch the film because it is one of the best movies of the eyar nd one of the ebst comedies of the era!!! Expand
  30. ClifC
    Mar 9, 2009
    8
    Art, pure art. Simple art. A demonstration of feelings and relationships's complexity. Penelope Cruz's performance is a standout performance. The narration is weak sometimes. But the movie doesn't lose its gentleness.
  31. SumitD.
    Jul 3, 2009
    10
    An excellent film about how we love. The romanticism of picturesque locales and beautiful people in a film that, despite being sent in the 21st echos an almost Renaissance-esque devotion to cultural achievement and academic pursuits. The film ends on a slightly melancholy note but on the whole is an extremely satisfying picture.
  32. Chrisa
    Aug 9, 2009
    10
    I really enjoyed this film. It was simply romantic & funny . The actors beautiful and I liked that it did not have sweaty sex scenes.
  33. nossspoerotee.
    Nov 2, 2008
    6
    Nice movie with great acting and beautiful cinematography. A beautiful love mosaic.
  34. WillN.
    Nov 28, 2008
    8
    Same great discussion, new venue.
  35. YvesMorton
    Aug 13, 2008
    10
    Unforgettable film. One of the best works by Woody Allen. Superb Penélope Cruz.
  36. chessb
    Aug 13, 2008
    9
    Rarely do the emotions of quiet people get as much interesting attention as the emotions of the extroverts. This film lavishes insight on them both, wonderfully and wittily. Oh yes, and lots of pretty people having sex. Beautiful architecture, beautiful shots of Barcelona and surrounding countryside. In my fantasies, I now live in the artist's studio in this film, with or without Rarely do the emotions of quiet people get as much interesting attention as the emotions of the extroverts. This film lavishes insight on them both, wonderfully and wittily. Oh yes, and lots of pretty people having sex. Beautiful architecture, beautiful shots of Barcelona and surrounding countryside. In my fantasies, I now live in the artist's studio in this film, with or without Javier Bardem. Expand
  37. JackFriedman
    Aug 15, 2008
    7
    There isn't anyone who can depict neurotic, paranoid, erotic characters like Woody Allen. IMO he's also the women's director. This romantic humorous spicy comedy isn't new material, but it's mood and spirit makes for a satisfying film. Penelope Cruz doesn't appear until the hour mark, but lifts the film in her spitfire tongue to a whole new level. I'm There isn't anyone who can depict neurotic, paranoid, erotic characters like Woody Allen. IMO he's also the women's director. This romantic humorous spicy comedy isn't new material, but it's mood and spirit makes for a satisfying film. Penelope Cruz doesn't appear until the hour mark, but lifts the film in her spitfire tongue to a whole new level. I'm sure there will be some consideration for a Best Supporting Actress Oscar nomination. Rebecca Hall looks like a rising star.....perhaps Woody's new muse..... and maybe the next Annie Hall. IMO the weak link is Scarlett Johansson. And sorry to say Patricia Clarkson...a favorite and queen of indies....in a minor role. I liked the use of narration, since it moves the film along at a nice pace. It's not Hannah or Annie Hall, but it's a pleasure to see Woody's standard style.. Expand
  38. liliJ
    Aug 16, 2008
    10
    This is one of the best movies lately with astonishing performances by most of the cast
  39. JG.
    Aug 17, 2008
    9
    Loved it! Kept me interested the entire time... made me want to move to spain :)
  40. JW.W.
    Aug 17, 2008
    10
    This film is outstanding! A must see for all ages.
  41. KR
    Aug 18, 2008
    9
    Very confused as to why The New York Times score is a 70 even though it's only movie highly recommended by one critic at The Times. Really enjoyed this movie from start to finish. I think it also dealt very well with the struggle to find and maintain passion versus love. Woody was smart to stop making movies in New York. He had really gotten into a rut. Although it's sad that a Very confused as to why The New York Times score is a 70 even though it's only movie highly recommended by one critic at The Times. Really enjoyed this movie from start to finish. I think it also dealt very well with the struggle to find and maintain passion versus love. Woody was smart to stop making movies in New York. He had really gotten into a rut. Although it's sad that a lot of people won't see this movie simply because they hate woody as a person. My response always is would you not read a great book or not listen to great song just because you object to the artist's personal life? Would you not go see a Bruce Willis movie, for example, if you're a Democrat since Willis is a die hard Republican? Anyway... Woody does it again. Now if only Scarlett Johansson can learn to act. Expand
  42. JadeI.
    Aug 21, 2008
    9
    Wow! As much as I defend Woody and try to find encouraging signs of regained competency when he misses the mark, I have to admit, to my shame, I didn
  43. IqbalF.
    Aug 20, 2008
    9
    Woody Allen's best in years with a very refreshing set of themes and dialogue among the Spaniards. A very poignant story that's also funny. What a pleasant surprise!
  44. [Anonymous]
    Aug 24, 2008
    6
    Well done satire of the American daydream
  45. JohnP.
    Aug 24, 2008
    8
    It is profound creative genius which combines cast and script toward the result of Scarlet Johansen kissing Penelope Cruz. There is not an Oscar category for this. But there should be.
  46. AlanG.
    Aug 28, 2008
    9
    YES, Male fantasy, but it makes senset hat women should reallly get along and support one another; what woman really wants a full-time man anyway ? IF other American Writers were authoring, the ending might have been more formulaic and less believable; but perhaps more satisfying and with slightly higher audience reviews/satisfaction.
  47. TonyO
    Jan 15, 2009
    9
    Come on guys! Why all the moaning? This is a funny, funny film. Lots of little homages to European film (Jules et Jim, etc) but at no stage does Woody's respect and fondness for film history overwhelm the entertainment. And the star quality on show here is a delight. In particular, Javier Bardem is an absolute hoot, but everyone else is in there having a great time as well. It is an Come on guys! Why all the moaning? This is a funny, funny film. Lots of little homages to European film (Jules et Jim, etc) but at no stage does Woody's respect and fondness for film history overwhelm the entertainment. And the star quality on show here is a delight. In particular, Javier Bardem is an absolute hoot, but everyone else is in there having a great time as well. It is an ensemble show through and through. Not perfect - the film is made on a tight budget and sometimes it shows - but this is so much better written than every other American comedy this year (apart from Burn After Reading) that it is embarrassing. I chuckled about all sorts of elements of this film for a week afterwards. Great fun. Expand
  48. BecquerM.
    Jan 31, 2009
    9
    Unlike many triangular-love films, Vicky Cristina Barcelona has achieved the important feat of making a point and few (perhaps only those who have lived in Spain) have the capacity to understand the degree of perfection achieved by Penelope Cruz's portrayal of Maria Elena, the half psychotic, half genius artist who teeters on the brink of insanity; she makes this movie, and for that Unlike many triangular-love films, Vicky Cristina Barcelona has achieved the important feat of making a point and few (perhaps only those who have lived in Spain) have the capacity to understand the degree of perfection achieved by Penelope Cruz's portrayal of Maria Elena, the half psychotic, half genius artist who teeters on the brink of insanity; she makes this movie, and for that reason alone, this movie should be regarded as Woody Allen's best. Expand
  49. jasperL
    Feb 16, 2009
    10
    This was great. Woody's back to his best. The dynamics of the relationships between the leading characters was nicely judged and Mr Bardem and Penelope Cruz were outstanding. It had a lovely continental and arthouse feel.
  50. CarlosF.
    Jul 18, 2009
    9
    It's a film to love or hate because it's a very complex film, reflecting the complexity of human relationships. Johanson and Cruz are amasing here. And the way Barcelona is shot is visually beautiful. Woody Allen is a master.
  51. BartS.
    Jan 27, 2009
    8
    Gripping, well written and well casted. Overall excellent!
  52. Joanna
    Nov 12, 2009
    10
    Wise! Woody was so wise when he created these characters in these situations. I don't think a young person will understand the poignant point, but, I surely do. Cruz in her neurosis was like my alter ego. I related to the characters, the scenery, the message, all of it. And I laughed aloud at the hysteria. Wonderful and wise!
  53. Nov 24, 2010
    0
    It's time Woody Allen is exposed for the zero he is. I never saw a movie where he didn't make me sick by his self absorption. I saw this film on a transatlantic flight and if not for that venue I would not have continued to watch this silliness. The film is so early 70's in its mentality - apparently the last time Allen was "thinking on life" through the deep prism of 20' something middleIt's time Woody Allen is exposed for the zero he is. I never saw a movie where he didn't make me sick by his self absorption. I saw this film on a transatlantic flight and if not for that venue I would not have continued to watch this silliness. The film is so early 70's in its mentality - apparently the last time Allen was "thinking on life" through the deep prism of 20' something middle class American girls on the loose in Europe when it was still just $5.00 a day, and afforded them plenty of opportunities to get into trouble. It is a commercial ploy from top to bottom using the then (2008) trendy Barcelona as a backdrop, and a lesbian relationship thrown in as a "modern twist" (pun intended )for the old girl boy plot with plenty of "passionate" people being "authentic" (think Bardem's old poet father talking about Maria Elena to throw up). And Penelope Cruz got an Oscar for THIS? PEL-LEASE She is just mimicking old Italian film actresses to the best of her ability being "native" "hot blooded" and "typically emotional" south European. I am shocked by the opinions of critics "who count". Although I only watch movies once every few years, I now know that I will never again trust well known critics but rather check opinions of people who have nothing to gain from their praises.â Expand
  54. Aug 31, 2011
    10
    I fell in love with this movie. I fell in love with the story, the passion and the acting. The direction is really good and the story too. Rebecca Hall, Scarlett Johansson, Javier Bardem and super super Penélope Cruz all acted really great. All the bad comments go to hell...
  55. Mar 31, 2012
    5
    This was a strange movie. Not quite sure why Penelope won the Oscar. Didn't think she was anything that stuck out. Not really that funny and kind of dull. No big deal.
  56. Jan 4, 2013
    2
    Simply the worst Woody Allen film ever. Some funny moments some good acting do not disguise the narrative shambles. And what's with the voice-over? Although a hall-mark of some of Allens's films in here it justs rubs off as remedial. Poor poor. A gigantic disapointment for a huge Allen fan. See it to believe it.
  57. RobertC.
    Aug 10, 2008
    3
    One of Woody Allen's worst films.
  58. BarbaraP.
    Aug 17, 2008
    3
    As a long-time Allen fan, I was very disappointed with this film. Cruz was the only one who shows any acting ability. The dialogue was dismal and banal. The storyline was too familiar and predictable replete with stereotypes. Woody, we have seen this film before, and it was better done then.
  59. Nick
    Sep 15, 2008
    0
    Worst. movie. ever. painfully embarrassing, I'd rather go to prison then see this movie again.
  60. EvanW
    Mar 4, 2009
    7
    An overall good film. The setting itself becomes a character with rich portraits of Spain.
  61. rahley
    May 31, 2009
    1
    I preferred this movie when it was called The Dreamers.
  62. jeffh
    Aug 15, 2008
    8
    A wonderfully written and acted tale of love.Especially Rebecca Hall who is mesmerizingly beautiful and talented.Say what you want about Woody but he is a master of dialogue.
  63. ChadS.
    Aug 17, 2008
    6
    On their return trip back to Barcelona after vacationing in a small Italian town, Cristina(Scarlett Johannson) apologizes with frenetic profusion to her conspiring plane mates, for being protracted all-weekend long in a flophouse bed with a case of food poisoning. Unstudied and without her customary self-awareness, this is Crisitna uncensored; she says things without running it through On their return trip back to Barcelona after vacationing in a small Italian town, Cristina(Scarlett Johannson) apologizes with frenetic profusion to her conspiring plane mates, for being protracted all-weekend long in a flophouse bed with a case of food poisoning. Unstudied and without her customary self-awareness, this is Crisitna uncensored; she says things without running it through her Henry-Miller informed filter. In other words, she sounds like an uncultured American. This in-flight tell is a harbinger of Cristina's epiphany that her free-spirit ethos better remain a theory, rather than be put into practice. She isn't cut out to be the Anais Nin-type who can share Juan(Javier Bardem) with Maria Elena(Penelope Cruz), like how the Cuban-French author apportioned a part of the "Tropic of Cancer" author's heart with his wife June. Her friend Vicky(Rebecca Hall), on the other hand, the feminist whom Juan offends with his indecent proposal for a "menage a trois" with herself and Cristina, denies the attraction and magnetic pull of the painter's sexual aura, because she's been fully indoctrinated by an ideology that's supposed to function like an amulet against the evils of subjugation. Even an intellectual such as Vicky enjoys being treated like a piece of meat, something to be drooled over before the ravishing. "Vicky Cristina Barcelona" is marred somewhat by its Hugh Hefner-like sensibility, in which the filmmaker is like the Playboy mogul who puts out special issues like "The Girls of Mensa" and "The Girls of the Ivy League", alongside "The Girls of Hooters" and "The Girls of Wal-Mart" to reduce smart women by obfuscating their best assets. Vicky, it can be said, is the cover girl for "The Girls of Catalan Scholarship". Expand
  64. JamieS.
    Aug 17, 2008
    7
    Well crafted, highly watchable, best character development I've seen in quite some time. Enjoyed the narration throughout... kept the movie flowing... more movies should employ that simple technique. But towards the end some events were unneeded and confused the story line. All n all, Rebecca Hall was the unexpected star, she's hawt in a repressed, smoldering kind of way, while Well crafted, highly watchable, best character development I've seen in quite some time. Enjoyed the narration throughout... kept the movie flowing... more movies should employ that simple technique. But towards the end some events were unneeded and confused the story line. All n all, Rebecca Hall was the unexpected star, she's hawt in a repressed, smoldering kind of way, while Scarlett Johansson was boorish this time around. In sum, worth seeing. Expand
  65. TomH.
    Aug 24, 2008
    8
    Quite entertaining with excellent performances by all, especially Rebecca Hall. The narration was the only part I didn't like, but you sort of get used to it by the end.
  66. AaronL.
    Sep 21, 2008
    10
    The best woody allen film in many years, the writing feels like his old films, but wiser. Fun, sexy, surprising, witty, well worth it.
  67. JayH
    Jan 18, 2009
    9
    Woody Allen is a genius when it comes to character development. That is what makes his films so rich and interesting. He ingeniously weaves the characters together and it makes the story fascinating. Excellent performances, particularly Penelope Cruz.
  68. J.D.
    Jan 26, 2009
    10
    One of the best films I've ever seen. Catches very well a lot of human experiences and feelings and it's very nicely done.
  69. VerminDeathstack
    Jan 27, 2009
    7
    Thinking about this movie after seeing it, I
  70. JohnS
    Dec 18, 2008
    9
    Fun exciting, portrays real questions that people have about real relationships.
  71. Dec 22, 2010
    6
    This is not the best of films, that is for sure. Honestly, the most redeeming part of the film are Javier Bardem and especially Penelope Cruz. Penelope gave such an extraordinary performance, which basically carries the film - though she only shows up the second half of the film. Otherwise, the film is rather pretentious and reminds me of "Sideways" a bit... just a pretentious, 'European'This is not the best of films, that is for sure. Honestly, the most redeeming part of the film are Javier Bardem and especially Penelope Cruz. Penelope gave such an extraordinary performance, which basically carries the film - though she only shows up the second half of the film. Otherwise, the film is rather pretentious and reminds me of "Sideways" a bit... just a pretentious, 'European' version of "Sideways". Still, definitely worth watching for Penelope and the nice scenery of Spain. Expand
  72. Sep 23, 2010
    1
    I keep watching Woody Allen movies for old times sake. Hoping he will make one I can enjoy. It hasn't happened in many years. This is another pretty horrible movie. Shallow, boring, waste of time. I'll just have to accept that I just don't like the guys style anymore. The music was good though.
  73. Apr 18, 2011
    10
    Amusing, airy, fun, and incredibly artistic, Vicky Cristina Barcelona is beautiful in every possible way. This movie is Woody Allen's true masterpiece. The screenplay, direction, acting, cinematography, music, and location came together in a beautiful, remarkable, revolutionary way.
  74. May 25, 2011
    7
    A well-made comedy directed by the man who proved once again to be a genius - Woody Allen.
    Penelope's performance is brilliant! and the movie had a lot of funny moments.
    but all of that is not enough to distract us from the cheesy script, cheep-looking movie.
  75. Aug 25, 2014
    7
    I had this movie borrowed from a colleague, and decided to watch it. I've liked most of Woody Allen's newest movies (Match Point and Cassandra's Dream), and Scarlett Johansson is never a downer either.

    The narration in a movie really set it apart from most films I've seen, but not necessarily in a good way. Frankly, the narration really threw me off; whenever you started to get into the
    I had this movie borrowed from a colleague, and decided to watch it. I've liked most of Woody Allen's newest movies (Match Point and Cassandra's Dream), and Scarlett Johansson is never a downer either.

    The narration in a movie really set it apart from most films I've seen, but not necessarily in a good way. Frankly, the narration really threw me off; whenever you started to get into the movie, the scene changed and there was that voice again. You were told what was going on instead of figuring it out for yourself.

    The plot of the movie in itself moved in plunges; the narration set up a scene, and then it slowed down again. The film wasn't exactly boring, but sometimes it felt like nothing was going on. It was missing something meaningful. The little pieces did not create one, big image after all.

    While the actors were pretty good, in the beginning of the film they seemed very stiff and unreal. Like they weren't really in the scene at all.

    Not my favorite movie of all time, but not a bad one either. It had a good story to tell, leaving the end rather open for possibilities. That, of course, made the film feel sort of inconclusive and pointless; they were back to square one after all that trouble. Perhaps the point of the movie was to show that no matter what, a human nature never truly changes.
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  76. Mar 4, 2012
    5
    If someone asked if whether I enjoyed Vicky Christina Barcelona I honestly would not be able to answer. For as much as the feature demonstrates Woody Allen's obsession with neurotic characters within a unique and original setting the outcome of the venture is sure to leave the viewer more exhausted than satisfied. Trademark directing aside, the films premise is strong and original, but theIf someone asked if whether I enjoyed Vicky Christina Barcelona I honestly would not be able to answer. For as much as the feature demonstrates Woody Allen's obsession with neurotic characters within a unique and original setting the outcome of the venture is sure to leave the viewer more exhausted than satisfied. Trademark directing aside, the films premise is strong and original, but the narration too often than not overrides the plot and what we do see becomes a mere snapshot: just like one of Christina's photographs. The acting is certainly great however, and Penelope Cruz rightfully deserves the acclaim she got for portraying a paranoid, delusional Spanish artist. However the character arcs are painfully non-existent leaving the audience thinking whether the features mixture of arthouse and mainstream works at all. Overall, the consistent name-dropping of the title, among other flaws levels this out at a 5 which is a shame because underneath the overstylised visuals there is a great film in here somewhere. Expand
  77. Sep 3, 2014
    8
    If you're looking to continue traveling the world with Woody Allen--Vicky Cristina Barcelona is your film. VCB is your film, regardless. Allen has outdone himself with complex characters and complex relationships. Scarlett Johansson is wonderful alongside a fiery Penelope Cruz.
  78. Apr 8, 2013
    4
    Vicky Cristina Barcelona seems to be a movie that had no direction, with writers that were just as lost as the characters were. Instead of having a narrator say the story, it should have been told through the screen.
  79. Aug 5, 2012
    8
    Woody Allen has made a fantastically played romantic drama which besides also is a wonderful homage to Barcelona. The end may let you think the whole movie is useless, but that is definitely not true! It's just extremely beautiful. One and a half hours are very good spent with this work. It's strange and let's you think about the meaning of love, like it was supposed to be. A perfect cast,Woody Allen has made a fantastically played romantic drama which besides also is a wonderful homage to Barcelona. The end may let you think the whole movie is useless, but that is definitely not true! It's just extremely beautiful. One and a half hours are very good spent with this work. It's strange and let's you think about the meaning of love, like it was supposed to be. A perfect cast, wonderful pictures of this gorgeous city and an amazing soundtrack - but there are also the bothersome voice-over and the confusing ending. But all in all this is a very good movie for almost everyone! Expand
  80. Jan 31, 2014
    9
    Damn. Not bad, didn't think I'd like a Romantic Drama movie, but I enjoyed it thoroughly.
    A lot of the movies I watch seem to drag on at some points, some are tedious to watch at some parts. This one doesn't have that, and that's precisely why I believe it deserves around 8.5 (closer to 9 though).
    Woody Allen is really good at character development, and the actors really did a good job
    Damn. Not bad, didn't think I'd like a Romantic Drama movie, but I enjoyed it thoroughly.
    A lot of the movies I watch seem to drag on at some points, some are tedious to watch at some parts. This one doesn't have that, and that's precisely why I believe it deserves around 8.5 (closer to 9 though).
    Woody Allen is really good at character development, and the actors really did a good job of conveying Woody's characters.
    Recommended.
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  81. Nov 29, 2014
    6
    This wasn't a terrible movie; Penelope Cruz and Javier Bardem are in it so at worse I thought it would be an average movie, which it was. I think that it was a little boring and predictable. I thought Scarlett Johansson and Rebecca Hall were very replaceable (and maybe if they were the movie would have been better). The characters were quite lacklustre except the Spanish character who wereThis wasn't a terrible movie; Penelope Cruz and Javier Bardem are in it so at worse I thought it would be an average movie, which it was. I think that it was a little boring and predictable. I thought Scarlett Johansson and Rebecca Hall were very replaceable (and maybe if they were the movie would have been better). The characters were quite lacklustre except the Spanish character who were supposed to be 'spicy' which is a word that I hate when it comes to describing people. It was a relatively forgettable movie that was overrated with boring dialogue, slightly stereotypical characters and I'm just not the biggest fan of Woody Allen. Expand
Metascore
70

Generally favorable reviews - based on 36 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 30 out of 36
  2. Negative: 2 out of 36
  1. 63
    An atypical Allen film. Some of his usual themes are present - in particular, his neuroses about sex and love - but this movie does not bear enough Allen hallmarks to single it out as his work.
  2. 80
    Allen can be literal-minded about his thematic polarities, but, in this movie, he has put actors with first-class temperament on the screen, and his writing is both crisp and ambivalent: he works everything out with a stringent thoroughness that still allows room for surprise.
  3. Reviewed by: Todd McCarthy
    80
    Offers potent romantic fantasy elements for men and women and a cast that should produce the best commercial returns for a Woody Allen film since "Match Point."